EWC 2023
Round 1

Title defenders F.C.C. TSR Honda France start third at the 24 Heures Motos

fr Circuit Bugatti, Le Mans

The opening round of the 2023 FIM Endurance World Championship takes place at the Bugatti circuit on 15 & 16 April 2023 with the 46th edition of the 24 Heures Motos, where a total of 6 teams have chosen the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP to fight for the victory.

Title defenders F.C.C. TSR Honda France start third at the 24 Heures Motos

Reigning world champions, F.C.C. TSR Honda France, claimed the third fastest time aboard the #1 Fireblade ahead of tomorrow’s 24-hour race, and the team is full of confidence to fight for the victory with the Australian Josh Hook, and the Frenchmen Mike Di Meglio and Alan Techer.

As last year, the combined qualifying times take into account only the two best times, and the Honda’s endurance specialists set an average lap of 1.37.764, qualifying 3rd on the starting grid.

On Thursday, with a mix of changing weather conditions, sunshine and light showers, Hook decided to wait for the track to get better when a red flag interrupted the session for almost 30 minutes, which improved track conditions. The Australian got the best out of his Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP #1, setting his best lap time of 1.39.111 and fourth overall.

When it was the turn for Di Meglio, track conditions were improving, and the French took his group's third best lap time, 1.36.417, despite a crash at the early stages of his session.

The rain appeared again when Alan Techer was about to start his session and set the fifth-fastest time, in 1.49.791.

The Honda trio was the fastest team on the track at the night session, with a lap time of 1:36.226.

Lap times on Friday were impossible to be improved due to worse weather conditions and Hook was the only rider to go out to the track to get important information for the bike settings in wet conditions.

Honda Viltaïs Racing ended the combined qualifying with a fantastic fifth place in the grid with an average lap time of 1.38.420. Despite the tricky weather conditions, the French team is delighted with this result and extracted only positive points in the qualifying. 

On Friday, despite the track conditions, Honda Viltaïs Racing lined up all four riders, Florian Alt, Steven Odendaal, Leandro Mercado and James Westmoreland to gain precious additional information on the Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP discovered only a few months ago.

In the Superstock category, National Motos Honda set the fifth-best lap time in its category, 1:41.205. The #55 Honda team is very confident of achieving a good result, counting with the solid trio of the Swiss brothers Sebastien and Valentin Suchet and Frenchman Guillaume Raymond and an excellent performance of the CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

The 24 Heures Motos will be flagged off at 3pm (CEST) on Saturday 15th April and finished at 3pm (CEST) on Sunday 16th April.

Josh Hook
Josh Hook 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
Those qualifying sessions were very difficult and it's a chance to get 3rd place on the grid. The conditions were complicated, but it's nice to see that we have a good feeling with the bike, whether the track is dry or wet, and at night in cold conditions it's even better. I think for the race we will be very good at night because the bike works really well in this situation. So we have to capitalise on this strength. In the end I am happy because we all have a good pace, now let's go for the race !

Mike Di Meglio
Mike Di Meglio 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
We worked well throughout the week. At the start of my first qualifying session, the track was very slippery and I crashed. But luckily, I was able to bring the bike back and set a fast lap with the second bike. These conditions were still interesting because we saw that our pace was good. This is very important as it is expected to be very cold during the race. 24 hours is a long time, so we have to believe in ourselves and do our job as well as possible.

Alan Techer
Alan Techer 1
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
We had a good qualifying session. Since Monday we are comfortable with the bike. As the rain did not allow me to improve my lap time today, I could concentrate on my riding and enjoy the bike despite the difficult conditions. I'm really happy because this bike is very nice to ride, not too physical, and as the race will be long we can have a good race.

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